FDA, CDC: Bagged salad possibly linked to intestinal parasite illness, multistate investigation underway

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Jun. 19 an investigation is underway for a multistate outbreak of an illness caused by an intestinal parasite that may be linked to bagged salad that is sold in ALDI, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco grocery stores.

Cyclospora is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite, according to the CDC. While this outbreak is still under investigation, it is believed that the illness is linked to ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad, Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad from Hy-Vee grocery stores and Signature Farms Brand Garden Salad from Jewel-Osco.

Bagged salad sold in three groceries in several states possibly linked to intestinal parasite illness outbreak.

These particular bagged salads were sold in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska, and Jewel-Osco Signature Farms Brand Garden Salad sold in Illinois.

The FDA has begun traceback investigations and are still gathering information on potential retailers and products that could be impacted by this outbreak.

Epidemologic evidence points to the three bagged salad brands sold at the three grocery stores as the source of the illness, according to the CDC.

The bagged salads were sold in in ALDI, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco in several states.

In interviews, people who were impacted answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures two weeks prior to becoming ill. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill, the CDC said.

Symptoms of Cyclospora includes:

  • Frequent bouts of water diarrhea, which is the most common
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Cramping, bloating and/or increased gas
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting, which is less common
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever

In this bagged salad mix-associated cluster, several ill people reported eating ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad, Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad, or Jewel-Osco Signature Farms Garden Salad.

The CDC and FDA, together with state health departments, continue to investigate other potential sources of Cyclospora outbreaks.